N.B. is the second album by English pop singer Natasha Bedingfield. It was released by RCA Label Group (UK) under the Phonogenic Label on April 30, 2007 in the United Kingdom. The U.S. version of the album was updated with new tracks and retitled Pocketful of Sunshine, and was released on January 22 2008.
The album featured collaborations with American rapper Eve and Maroon 5's lead singer Adam Levine, and was influenced by hip hop music. Most of the songs focus on love and relationships, as opposed to her debut, which dealt with independence and opportunism.
N.B. debuted to mixed reviews from contemporary music critics, receiving criticism due to its redundant lyrical content. The album has produced two top ten singles in the UK so far.
As of October 2007, the album has sold over 100,000 copies in the UK, certifying it Gold, selling much less than her debut album, that went to sold in excess one million of copies in the UK.
Because of N.B.'s mediocre success, it has been noted as a "sophomore slump". Because of the third single's failing to chart, it has been rumoured that her record label is re-releasing the album or releasing a third album in the UK, containing new tracks from Pocketful of Sunshine.
Outside of the UK, the album failed to reach the top ten. In Ireland, N.B. debuted at number fourteen and in the Netherlands it reached number thirteen. It peaked outside the top twenty in Switzerland. In Australia, the album failed to enter the top one hundred, but peaked at number eleven on the Hitseekers albums chart.
"Who Knows", the fourth track, begins with a "reggae-pop vibe" which slowly progresses to an electro-style sound featuring a string section. It received positive reviews, with one reviewer stating that it was reminiscent of "Amy Winehouse's gruff vocal style and her sassiness".. "Who Knows" was also featured in the motion picture 27 Dresses. The fifth track and third single is "Say It Again". It is co-written with Maroon 5's lead singer Adam Levine, who also provides backing vocals on the song. "Pirate Bones" discusses the pitfalls of celebrity and fame. On the song Bedingfield commented "if you're giving up your enjoyment of life for somebody else's idea of success, it's like being a pirate who's got his hoard of treasure ]and is sitting on an island where there are no shops to spend it. It doesn't mean anything."
The eighth track, "Tricky Angel", was inspired by R&B music and was composed around a series of piano loops. "When You Know You Know" features an orchestra and its lyrics discuss a failing relationship. The tenth track, "(No More) What Ifs", features a rap by Eve and received negative reviews, with The Guardian describing it as "an ill-advised move for all concerned". "Not Givin' Up", features a heavy urban beat with electronic sound effects in the background. The song was well received by critics because of its "near-certain crossover appeal for both sides of the Atlantic". "Still Here", the twelfth track, was originally recorded for the film Rocky Balboa in 2006, but was not included on the soundtrack.
For the American release of the album, Bedingfield recorded a new track titled "Love like This" with Jamaican reggae singer Sean Kingston. The track will serve as the lead American single and will impact American pop radio on 25 September 2007. Accompanying this song are several other newly recorded tracks, along with some N.B. songs, which compile a new album titled Pocketful of Sunshine.
|UK Albums Chart||9|
|Irish Albums Chart||14|
|Dutch Albums Chart||13|
|Swiss Albums Chart||37|
|Germany Albums Chart||80|
|United Kingdom||2007-04-30||RCA Label Group||CD||88697076452|